August 15, 2018 / 4:14 PM / a month ago

Italy PM declares state of emergency after bridge collapse

GENOA, Italy (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared on Wednesday a state of emergency covering the region around Genoa after a bridge collapse killed 39 people and severed the port city’s main land corridor with southern France.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives to inspect the site of the collapsed Morandi Bridge in the port city of Genoa, Italy August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Conte, speaking at a news conference in Genoa, said he made the declaration after a request from regional authorities.

He also took aim at toll-road operator Autostrade, a unit of Milan-listed Atlantia group, which operated the bridge as part of a stretch of the A10 motorway it manages.

Conte said the firm had been responsible for ensuring safety on the bridge and the government would not await the outcome of a current criminal investigation into the disaster before taking action. Earlier, the transport minister said the firm’s A10 motorway concession should be revoked and it be hit with heavy fines.

Reporting by Ilaria Polleschi; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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